CHICKEN TENDERS AREN’T JUST FOR KIDS ANYMORE!
I like to think that I have a very grown up palette. Saying it is sophisticated might be a bit of a stretch, but I think it’s close. Now, that I’ve gone and said that, the rest of this post is going to make me sound like a hypocrite. Because I freakin’ love chicken tenders!
Don’t you dare say you don’t like chicken tenders, because you do. Well, I guess the only exception would be for you vegetarians. But even most vegetarians I know, like the faux chicken tenders.
I admit, I feed my kids, the store bought chicken nuggets and chicken tenders. I don’t usually eat theirs, but that’s not saying I am not tempted to. And I may or may not sneak a few extra bites when I’m testing to make sure their not too hot. You can’t prove anything!
So what is a girl to do, when she wants some awesome kid food like chicken tenders, without the judgement of fellow grownups? Make them grown up, that’s what! Throwing a handful of fresh herbs in the mix, instantly turns a recipe into the grown up territory. Right?
And just because I’ve made these chicken tenders all grown up like, doesn’t mean the kids won’t like them too. They’re crunchy and they can dip them into whatever they want, so I consider these Herbed Chicken Tenders to be a super family friendly dish. And we don’t have to be having a totally unhealthy fried meal here either. Nowhere in the food laws does it say we have to serve fries or onion rings with chicken tenders. I served mine with some simple roasted broccoli. Just pop the florets in the oven with some salt, pepper and olive oil and you’ve got the perfect side dish. By all means, if you are feeling indulgent, go ahead and make those onion rings. As a matter of fact, I even have an awesome recipe for onion rings (strings).
I have never perfected the art of frying. I do much better with browning on the stove and then finishing in the oven. So here’s what I did: I coated the chicken and browned both sides in oil (in batches). I then transferred the tenders to a foil lined baking sheet and popped them in the oven to finish cooking (about 8 minutes). This way I was sure they were cooked all the way through. They came out perfectly crunchy on the outside and super moist on the inside.
Last thing about the Herbed Chicken Tenders: You can totally change the herb. I have a thing for parsley, so that’s what I used. I think dill would work great. If you are a fan of tarragon (yuck), that would work too. Use whatever you want, just make sure you use fresh herbs, it makes a difference.
- 1/2 C flour all purpose heavily seasoned with salt and pepper
- 2 eggs beaten
- 2 C panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 C freshly chopped parsley
- 8 chicken tenderloins
- 1/2 C canola oil
Preheat oven to 400.
Place seasoned flour in a shallow bowl.
Place panko crumbs in another shallow bowl and mix in the parsley.
In a third shallow bowl, add the eggs (lightly beaten)
Prepare the tenders by first dredging in the flour, then dipping in the egg (allow excess to drip off) and finally coating with the panko crumbs.
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium/high heat. Cook the chicken, in batches (be sure not to overcrowd the pan), about 3 minutes per side, then place on a non stick foil lined baking sheet.
When all chicken is browned, place baking sheet with all tenders in the oven for about 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through.